The Camanche City Council held a public hearing – more of a listening session, really –  Tuesday night about an offer from a railroad merger.

The city council chambers were packed as people gave their opinions about the deal, with most speaking in opposition of it.  

The merger between Canadian Pacific Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railroad would increase the number of trains that run through Camanche.

Some residents spoke about noise concerns.

The railroad offered Camanche $200,000 to offset the impact from the merger. But opponents say they’re speaking up for their small town.

Fire Chief Dave Schutte is concerned about residents’ safety. He discussed a section of Camanche between the river and the train tracks. In case of an emergency, crews would not be able to reach the area if it is blocked by a long train, he said.

He focused on “First and foremost the safety, the safety of our personnel but most of all the safety of our community.”

The council expects to take an official stance on the merger during its Sept. 6 meeting.

Davenport, Bettendorf and Muscatine all have approved settlements with Canadian Pacific.

Davenport would get $10 million. Bettendorf and Muscatine would each get receive $3 million if the deal gets federal approval.